Competition breeds excellence and punished complacency. No automotive category has been so competitive for so long as the midsize sedan market. The best of the breeds are all priced in the mid to upper $30Ks and all are discounted to some degree by their dealers. All three also earn an EPA-estimated 26 MPG using regular unleaded fuel. All three earn top crash safety and active safety scores. We find the Toyota Camry XSE V6, Honda Accord 2.0 Touring, and Mazda6 Signature to be among the best in the word in this segment. Having experienced each, here is what found to be special about each.
2018 Toyota Camry XSE V6
Are you looking for a premium front-drive, V6 midsize sedan? The Toyota Camry XSE V6 is the best there is. The Camry has over 300 hp and a fresh new look inspired by catamarans. The Camry is a well-rounded vehicle with few shortcomings.
One important thing we think makes the Camry special is its legendary reliability, durability, and quality. Here and there you will find top-selling cars in the Camry’s class that may top it, but that is rare. Historically, the Camry is the safest bet in this segment.
Add to dependability Camry’s strong value proposition. With two years of included maintenance, the Camry beats the Accord and Mazda6 when it comes to cost of maintenance for the first five years.
There is much more to the Camry than just these attributes, but in this strong group, the Camry wins on the strength of its V6 engine, its dependability, and its value.
2018 Honda Accord 2.0 Touring
Honda’s new drivetrain in the Accord is down on power from its outgoing V6 models but still maintains the same performance and fuel economy. The new Accord also has a fresh new look and is the large car in this group. Passenger volume of almost 103 cubic feet beats both the Camry and Mazda6, but it’s the way it is distributed we found to be special. The Accord feels bigger inside.
The new Accord is also the only vehicle in this grouping to presently offer Android Auto. 43% of Americans use Android phones. In this group, only the Accord allows them to plug in right now and enjoy full interaction with the apps those phones offer.
2018 Mazda6 Signature
The Mazda6 edges the Camry and Accord in terms of the total driving experience. Its new 2.5-liter turbocharged engine makes 310 lb-ft of torque, more than Accord and Camry and it is felt. The Mazda6 pulls from its idle and never works hard to make the driving experience fun.
The Mazda6 also edges both the Camry and Accord in terms of looks. We realize this is subjective, so feel free to disagree, but the materials and workmanship in the Mazda are on another level when seen and felt in person.
Which of the three would be your choice and why?